County Solid Waste District - Recycling Saves You Money

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                      for Spencer County SWMD
Spencer County Trash Burning Ordinance No. 2005-6

To View/Download Entire Ordinance as a PDF

Click here

The Problem

Over the last 20 years many things have changed; one of these changes is in the composition of household garbage. Many commodities previously purchased in paper and glass containers are now packaged in plastic.

When plastic and paper are burned toxic pollutants such as Benzene Compounds, Dioxins (which have been linked to cancer) and Acid Gases are released. Smoke from burning trash can travel a long distance and can trigger asthma attacks.


This ordinance is intended to promote public health, safety and welfare for the citizens of Spencer County due to the air pollution and fire hazards of outdoor burning and burning trash.

What can I Burn?

Clean wood products may still be burned. The ordinance states that "clean wood" means natural wood which has not been painted, varnished or coated with similar material, has not been pressure treated with preservatives and does not contain resins or glues as in plywood or other composite wood products.


Can Be Burned


Cannot Be Burned
Trees Leaves Household Trash Diapers
Brush Weeds Plastics Newspapers
Stumps Branches Tires Cardboard
Fence Rows Drift Wood Waste Oil Roofing Materials

Painted Wood Treated Lumber

Enforcement Policy

  • All trash burning violations should be reported to Spencer County Dispatch (812) 649-2286 or           (800) 498-7300
  • Trash Burning violations may be reported anonymously.
  • An officer will be dispatched to investigate violations.
  • Officers will supply Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) with a written case report.
  • SWMD will mail the violator a letter with instructions.

Penalties & Fines

  • First violation is a written warning.
  • Second and subsequent violations will result in a $100 fine.
  • All violations (including the first) of burning noxious and/or hazardous materials such as roofing material, tires, etc. will result in a $250 fine.

What can I do with all of my trash?

Buy products in containers made from glass, metal, or # 1 and #2 plastic bottles that can be recycled. Avoid products that have excessive packaging.

County Drop-Off Centers
There are seven (7) county centers that accept trash bags and recyclables. Many household items are accepted free. Each 35-44 gallon trash bag requires a $1.00 yellow tag; bags larger than 44 gallons require two (2) $1.00 yellow tags.

Aluminum/steel cans; glass bottles and jars; newspaper; magazines and catalogs; junk mail and office paper; cardboard; batteries; motor oil, oil filters and antifreeze; #1and #2 plastic bottles and jugs; plastic shopping bags; mercury items.

Leaves, grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, and other organic wastes. The district office has information readily available on composting.

 Subscription Trash Service

There are several companies that provide residential trash service. Residents may contact the Solid Waste Management District for names of haulers that are registered with Spencer County.

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Spencer County SWMD, 918 E. County Road 800N, Chrisney, IN
Phone (812) 362-7401, FAX (812) 362-7650, E-Mail recycle@psci.net